Northern Alliance preview

Gateshead Leam Rangers have been left in turmoil this week as chairman Peter Dixon along with Robin Falcus and goalkeeping coach Andrew Robinson all defected to join Crook Town in the Northern League.

Gateshead Leam Rangers have been left in turmoil this week as chairman Peter Dixon along with Robin Falcus and goalkeeping coach Andrew Robinson all defected to join Crook Town in the Northern League.

Today’s Northern Alliance League Cup tie for the Rangers away to Wallsend Boys’ Club will be a focus of attention.

Walker Central are also in League Cup action away to Premier Division colleagues Cramlington Town and their absence from league duty could allow Alnwick Town to nudge them off the top of the table by getting at least a draw at Heaton Stannington.

Third-placed Gillford Park have home advantage against Peterlee Town.

Heddon are already proving a very different side to the one that struggled last term. Under new team boss Duncan Brown they have climbed into fifth spot where they’re level on points with Gateshead Leam Rangers. They have a good defensive record and will be sure to test today’s hosts Seaton Delaval.

Last season’s champions Harraby Catholic Club are just behind Heddon but haven’t yet been able to reproduce their title-winning form. Striker Steve Archibald will pose the biggest threat to free-scoring visitors Ponteland United who will still be stinging from unexpected midweek defeat at Peterlee.

Blyth Town will be favourites to edge it at home to early strugglers Northbank and bottom club Newcastle University will be desperate for points against Ashington Colliers at Cochrane Park. Shankhouse could also use a quick fix and recent signing Lee Gustard should be in the line-up again at home to Carlisle City.

BILL GARDNER

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